RIGHTS DEFENDERS raised concerns yesterday over the move to force all |cellphone users in the restive South to submit their pictures for facial-recognition identification. Those who fail to do so by October 31 would have their cellphone service blocked. “The use of facial-recognition technology risks violating people’s privacy and freedom. It also mean users could be discriminated against,” the Cross Cultural Foundation said yesterday. The foundation says telecom firms might have decided to collect the pictures of cellphone users in the deep South in response to a policy of security agencies that has led to racial profiling. “Racial profiling may lead to the arrest and prosecution of the innocent,” the foundation added. The deep South refers to the predominantly Muslim Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala provinces and also four border districts of Songkhla, namely Chana, Na Thawi, Saba Yoi and Thepha. These areas have been hit by insurgency-related violence that has claimed thousands of lives over the past 15 years. Victims have included security officials and civilians. In the face of the violence, the region is under an emergency decree with a heavy military presence and limitations on people’s basic rights. Cross Cultural Foundation director, Pornpen Khongkachonkiet, said the National Broadcasting… Read full this story
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